Thursday, October 20, 2011

Delicata Squash-I bet you've never heard of it!

Delicata Squash

So this week in my CSA box I received a Delicata squash. It is an amazing creamy delicious little squash. It is similar to a butternut squash but a lot easier to deal with. Thus I think it is much better than a butternut.

Butternut's tend to be huge with thick skins and can be a pain when you have to hack it apart. Since our family is so small this smaller squash is perfect. Plus it is so creamy after cooking!

With this sweet delicata squash all I had to do with it was wash it, chop it, scrape out the seeds, slice it and bake it. So easy! 

Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe
Serves 2-4 as a side dish

2-4 delicata squash, depending on size
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Clean the delicata squash by running under warm water and scrubbing away dirt with your hands. If there are any hard spots on the squash, scrape them off with a butter knife.
With a sharp knife, cut delicata in half lengthwise. This should be easy and not require any crazy hacking, wacking or knife smacking. With a spoon scoop out the seeds and discard (you can save these and prepare them like pumpkin seeds to put in your granola).

Cut each delicata half into 1/2 inch segments, creating moon-shaped pieces with slight bumps around the curve.
Arrange the pieces in a single layer in a metal baking pan and coat in 2 tbsp olive oil. Too much oil can make the squash soggy. Salt gently. It’s okay if the pieces are a little crowded, but try to maximize the surface area of the squash touching the pan. The browning only occurs where the squash and pan meet.
Place in oven and roast 10 minutes. Using a spatula (I use tongs for most veggies, but delicata squash are easily squished and it can be tricky to flip them with out compltely squishing them.) Turn the squash in the pan so the light sides are now touching the pan and the brown sides are facing up.
Continue roasting, turning every 7-10 minutes until both sides of the squash pieces are golden brown and when poked with a fork the texture is creamy, all the way through. It should take about 25-30 minutes total.

Serve as a side dish with the rest of your dinner. I served mine with barbequed chicken drumsticks and salad!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dinner Rolls

My friend Robin made these last night and I am completly in love! They are so easy I may make them all the time and will probably gain 25lbs in the next week!

The dough can be made by hand, in a mixer or a bread maker...I will give you the mixer version!

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1/2 cup warm milk
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat flour)
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast or 2.5 tsp yeast from the jar

Mix water and milk, nuke in the microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, or if you don't use a microwave like me you can heat it in a pan on the stove - just don't scald it. I then pour it into the bowl of my KitchenAid mixer. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, then stirred in the yeast. After it gets all foamy, about 10 minutes, mix in the salt, butter and egg. Turn the KitchenAid on and start adding the flour a half cup at a time.
Without egg wash
Put it in a warm, oiled bowl to rise. I let it rise for about 45 minutes in the bowl, then punched it down, divided it into 12 balls (I didn't feel like making crescents) and let it rise for another hour, then bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, (I kept my oven at 350 degrees because it cooks really hot). They turned out like something from a bakery. Also, you can brush them with melted butter after if you'd like but they really don't need it. If you want them to be a deep shiny golden brown, brush them with egg yoke right before cooking.
With Egg Wash

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Krazy Kristi's Kitchen

For more of my great recipes and meals check out Krazy Kristi's Kitchen...

Minestrone Soup or Whatever I have from the garden soup!

This is one of my fall favorites! Most people call it Minestrone soup or health in a bowl. But I like to call it Whatever I found in my garden or CSA box today soup! This is such an amazing soup, hearty, healthy and easy to make. It is a great dinner during the fall when things can be pretty are back to school, soccer practice, dance class etc...
Ummm can you smell it simmering?

Also you can substitute vegetables depending on what you have or what you like. You can use Swiss chard or kale instead of spinach if you wish. You can also cook it in a crock pot if you would like. I prefer to make this soup on the stove and let it simmer for about 45 minutes before adding the pasta. The crock pot however is so convenient when you are working all day and want to come home to a cooked meal. This is also great with browned venison burger, mini turkey meatballs or even some sauteed crumbled turkey sausage.
3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped (more if it is flu season)
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
2 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes (I like the Italian kind)

1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained (You can use cannellini or navy too)
1 (15 ounce) can green beans or fresh ones from the garden or your CSA!
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed (or fresh Kale)
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup seashell whole wheat pasta (if watching your carbs or blood sugar you can omit)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping
1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic, celery, carrots and onion - saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, tomatoes, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, all the veggies, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.

Throw in noodles and cook until tender. Ladle soup in to bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.